- Email me
- Nail Your Novel: books
- FAQ: I’m a new writer: which book should I read first?
- FREE Nail Your Novel Instant Fix: 100 Tips For Fascinating Characters
- My writing process: the picture tour
- Nail Your Novel: A Companion Workbook
- Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and how you can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence
- Reviews of Nail Your Novel
- Who’s tweeting about Nail Your Novel …
- Writing Characters Who’ll Keep Readers Captivated: Nail Your Novel
- Writing Plots With Drama, Depth & Heart: Nail Your Novel
- Who am I?
Posts Tagged what’s your favourite novel
It seems a simple thing to consider. Unless you’re me.
It’s on my mind because of a film I saw recently, where a couple of characters who were novelists singled out an all-time favourite work of fiction.
But… but… but…. (I informed the screen) that’s not how the writer’s mind works. And while we’re at it, novelists can’t usually quit the day job and they don’t automatically get launches at the London Book Fair.
But back to the original question. I don’t have one favourite book. I have hundreds. If I’m asked what books I’d take to a deserted island, I’d have to make up a fictitious compilation volume that runs to many roomfuls.
I’m aware I might be taking this too literally, but I think it’s an illumination of how a writer’s mind works, how we use what we read – and indeed how we choose it.
Non-creative people rarely understand this, but to a writer, the whole world is an aquarium. We are not spectators, we’re on a life mission to make stuff. Everything is a potential teacher or a trigger. We can’t turn it off. Anything might be significant and we might end up bonding with a book for the oddest reasons. One publication I’d put in my very enormous favourites compilation isn’t even a published book. It’s the colour chart of the paint manufacturer Farrow & Ball. The names of the paints (Clunch, Elephant’s Breath, James White) give me a world of delight.
Indeed I bet most writers have books they wouldn’t put on their public Goodreads profile because they don’t reflect their ‘tastes’, yet they keep them close at hand. When I’m researching ways to handle an idea I’m just as likely to seek out novels that treated it badly or ruined it, because I need to discover what mistakes were made.
And if the question is merely intended to discover what we read for fun, it’s daft to ask if I liked East of Eden better than Rebecca. You might as well ask me to make a league table of my friends. But perhaps that’s just me.
When someone asks you to name your favourite book, what’s your answer? And how do you choose books to help with your WIP?
authors, creative people, creative thinking, creative writers, creative writing, Daphne du Maurier, East of Eden, Farrow & Ball, favourite book, fiction, Goodreads, having ideas, how to read like a writer, how to write a book, how to write a novel, how writers read, inspiration, John Steinbeck, My Memories of a Future Life, novels, publishing, reading, Rebecca, Roz Morris, what's your favourite book, what's your favourite novel, writing, writing a novel - Nail Your Novel, Writing Characters Who'll Keep Readers Captivated: Nail Your Novel, writing life, Writing Plots With Drama, Depth & Heart
- What’s on an author’s bookshelf? Ep 41 FREE podcast for writers July 23, 2020
- How to write a sequel – and when not to. Ep 40 FREE podcast for authors July 22, 2020
- Music, summer, 1990s Camden – The Undercover Soundtrack, Guy Mankowski @GMankow July 16, 2020
- How I became an author – interview on inspirational authors podcast July 13, 2020
- ‘What you do with difficult ideas is turn them into art’ – an interview with Mat Osman @matosman July 12, 2020
- How to write your memoir – Ep39 FREE podcast for writers July 10, 2020
- Can you hear me calling? Social media sites for authors – Ep 38 FREE podcast for writers July 7, 2020